I went, I played, I was fairly impressed. Eurogamer may not have shown me anything I hadn’t already seen, but it proved an opportunity to get a feel for games I was on the fence for and see how they handled. What follows is a run down of the most note-worthy games that I played. They’re listed from least to most impressive. I should mention that I didn’t play everything there. Some I just couldn’t be bothered to wait for, others like Dishonoured I skipped because I was sold on it and didn’t feel the need to confirm that in any way. Remember that these are totally just my opinions and not a reflection on how good or bad a game is!
Assassin’s Creed 3 – I suppose there’s no way I can be fair to AC3. I was never in love with the setting or the protagonist. But playing it made me even more certain that there was nothing here I’d really miss out on by not buying AC3. The gameplay and animations are pretty much standard Assassin’s Creed fare. There hasn’t been any real improvements in this area. The combat remains flashy to look at, but far too simple to have any depth. While you’d think the wildness would give the game a feeling of freshness it doesn’t feel all that different to the more open areas from previous titles. So yeah, I wasn’t too keen on the game and after playing it I feel even more certain that this is a game I can do without.
God of War Ascension – I didn’t actually go hands on with the single player. It looks stunning and there are certainly some nice ideas with the new powers. There’s just a worry that the story won’t be as gripping after we’ve already played out the end of Kratos’ journey. The mutliplayer is better than I thought it would be. The combat works quite well and the inclusion of an escape ability – that evades any combo you’re locking into while also restoring small amounts of health and that recharges over time – helps it come together well. But in the end it feels like it’s going to go the way of a lot of tacked-on mutliplayer games – where after the first few months the playerbase simply disappears.
Assassin’s Creed Liberation – The Vita outing for Assassin’s Creed certainly looks quite smart and handles very similarly to its console brethren I didn’t see too much story, but this is pretty much AC on a handheld, much like the PSP outing was too. There’s a few motion controls jammed in there, but nothing essential or brilliant. The swamp setting actually reminds me a lot of the similar areas from Infamous 2. There was a bit of rowing and killing a crocodile in a QTE fight, but it’s all quite normal Assassin’s Creed fare here. The game does get a few bonus points from me for having a female protagonist though. It’s an intersting move for Ubisoft, I hope it pays off, but I did hear more than once people moaning about being forced to play a girl!
Metal Gear Rising Revengence – portmanteau aside, I always expected this was going to be a very slick and well-produced game, and the reality didn’t disappoint. The game is fast smooth and with very familiar MGS UI and presentation. The gameplay is very fast and feels more like playing Vanquish with blades than anything else. While I really enjoy the combos and general pace of the game, I’m not entirely sold on its blade mode, where you slow things down and can slice anything in anyway you want. It puts a strange pause in the action and doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of it – that said the animations never fail and even when you use it mid leap, Raiden always looks great.
Strike Suit Zero – A PC space shooter by indie Devs Born Ready. There aren’t enough space shooter games anymore. I’m not quite sure what happened to them, but for some reason the last few generations of games has seen a distinct lack of this genre. Strike Suit Zero will hopefully scratch that itch. The demo on offer was a lot of fun. I liked the lack of auto-targetting and the feeling that you were part of a bigger battle going on. Being told not to attack the enemy fleet and just play my small role of defence was refreshing. The game was also set up on analogue joysticks, which made flying around in the spacecraft feel awesome!
Far Cry 3 – I already knew this was going to be great. Much like Dishonoured I really didn’t have any plans to play this, but the queue’s were pretty short, so I figured, what the heck! Thankfully they had it running on a PC. The game looks gorgeous. The open world is brilliantly realised, but more importantly, the game improves heavily upon Far Cry 2’s enemy hit reactions. I had a lot of fun simply wandering around, sneakily killing enemies and random enemies with the bow. I also accidently set fire to an entire field after taking out an attacking wolf with a flaming arrow!
The demo’s objective has you climb up and activate a radio tower. These operate in a similar way to the viewpoints in Assassin’s Creed, giving you increased information for the area of the tower – as well as giving you some fantastic views. Like I said, I already knew I was going to get this – this just made me even more excited for it.
DmC – I don’t like Enslaved, nor do I like Heavenly Sword. I was badly disappointed by the news that Ninja Theory were doing Devil May Cry. As far as I was concerned, they hadn’t proved at all that they could make a game with really great combat – and that was a must for DmC. Thankfully it turned out they can. DMC is the next Devil May Cry. And I mean that more than just literally. The combat may as well have been done by the original devs, because you wouldn’t really be able to tell. I would go as far to say that I would play this over Devil May Cry 1, 2 or 4. I am totally sold on this gameplay wise. Story? it might turn out to be crap, but then again Devil May Cry 1 had an awful story, terrible dialogue and really, really bad voice acting! The only bad things here were the unimaginative devil trigger (his hair just turns white), the frame rate (which is a pretty solid 30) and the resolution (I think it’s 720, might be lower) But those last two are negated by the fact that it’s releasing on PC anyway!
Honourable mentions go out to PlayStation All-Stars, for being quite good in a local multiplayer way. Zone of the Enders HD was surprisingly un-HD – it’s not as bad as the Silent Hill remaster, but no where near as good as the MGS ones; which is really a shame. Halo 4 and Gears were only there in multiplayer capacity – So I didn’t try either, though Halo’s graphics are looking very pretty indeed. Lost Planet 3 looked surprisingly low-framerate and texture detail – but it was shown on PS3 and the X360 version is usually better for Lost Planet. Nothing on the WiiU looked like it was worth waiting for – ZombiU sounds interesting, but it looked quite bland.Overall though there was a lot to see and play and it certainly wasn’t a day wasted.